Saints Start Strong, Handle Tigers 16-11
Apr. 14: Playing in its most important game thus far in 2012, the St. Lawrence University women's lacrosse team delivered perhaps its best performance. The Saints sprinted out to a six-goal lead and never looked back, as they handed RIT a 16-11 loss in Canton, NY on Saturday in a crucial Liberty League contest, the first ever between the two squads.
The Saints, now 7-4 overall and 4-1 in conference, were sharp from the get-go, finishing with advantages in shots (30-25), ground balls (19-8) and draw controls (17-12). The Tigers fall to 6-5 (4-2) despite a game-high seven point outing by the conference's leading scorer Shelby Vakiener (6g,1a).
"We really came out of the gate much stronger today and played hard throughout the game," said St. Lawrence head coach Jodi Canfield. "We felt this was a must-win for us, and we answered the call with balanced scoring and some key saves by Paige (Powell) down the stretch."
Powell made four crucial saves in the final minutes of the game to keep RIT from stringing together any momentum. She finished with seven stops total in the win, while Katelyn Crane suffered the loss.
With St. Lawrence on top 3-2 midway through the first half, the Scarlet and Brown ran off four straight goals to extend the cushion to five with 13:25 remaining. Brigid Hurley, Holly Noyes, Stephanie O'Rourke and Soeurette Morley pushed the lead to 7-2 before RIT's Marlee Vlassis ended the streak 1:16 later.
The Saints would claw out to a 9-3 lead after goals by co-captain Kendall Harty and Noyes, but the Tigers scored three goals in the last 4:18 of the half to stay within striking distance, down 10-6 at intermission.
RIT appeared to be headed in the right direction when Loren Azlein scored only 1:29 into the second half to close the gap to three at 10-7. However, the goal ignited a St. Lawrence run that put the game away, as the Saints rattled off five straight goals from O'Rourke (2), co-captain Alanna Piroli (2) and Hurley to build a 15-7 advantage.
Vakiener scored two goals nearly 3:00 minutes apart to get the visitors back within five at 15-10 with 14:24 remaining. However, Powell would make a big save that led to a goal by Harty which proved to be a dagger, giving St. Lawrence a 16-10 lead with 10:16 to play. Powell would then allow only one goal in the final portion of the game, that coming with only :04 seconds left, to bring the score to its final of 16-11.
O'Rourke finished with four goals to pace St. Lawrence, while Harty, Piroli and Hurley each added three. Noyes closed with two goals and an assist.
St. Lawrence will hit the road for a pair of Liberty League games next weekend, as it faces Union College on Friday, April 20 and William Smith on Saturday, April 21.